GEORGE TOWN (Bernama): Malaysians have been urged to send out a positive message that Malaysia is still a safe place to visit despite being faced with the Covid-19 infection situation, says Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
The Deputy Prime Minister said it has been a challenging start to the new year, the tourism sector in particular, and the government was now drafting various strategies to help the industry deal with the challenges.
"The Federal Government, until today, is still organising events, programmes and activities that involve the masses.
"Nevertheless, we need to be alert by taking self-preventive and preparedness measures as advised by the Health Ministry in dealing with the infection,” Dr Wan Azizah said in her speech at the 2020 Malaysia Chinese New Year Open House in Padang Kota Lama here Saturday (Feb 15) night.
At the same time, she also advised the people not to spread or believe fake news or unverified information on social media as that would only lead to negative effects such as panic and altercations.She also encouraged the public to refer to the portal 'Sebenarnya.my' to get the latest authentic information from government sources.
In an effort to address the negative perception over the transmission of Covid-19, she said the Tourism Ministry (Motac) had set up a Tourism Recovery Action Committee to formulate a recovery strategy for the country's tourism sector affected by the situation.
In addition, Motac also devised a short-term or 'quick win' strategy to attract tourists from nearby Asean countries as an alternative strategy to boost the tourism industry.
Dr Wan Azizah also called on Malaysians to spend their holidays at local destinations to support the Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020) campaign with more than 200 events organised by the federal and state governments, as well as the private sector throughout the calendar year.
"To enliven the VM2020 campaign for the international market, we as the host nation should welcome the visitors with warmth and sincerity. We should also showcase the cultural traditions of the people in this country who still uphold eastern values, such as being well mannered, honest, trustworthy, respectful and courteous.
"I also hope that the tourism industry will prioritise safety aspects by improving the quality of service and ensuring adequate facilities are provided so that tourists visiting the country always feel safe and secure," she said. - Bernama
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